Tag Archives: california

Fracking in the Ocean Off the California Coast

25 Jul

The following report is the result of a six-month investigation. To support Truthout’s independent investigative journalism and fund more stories like this, click here.

by Mike Ludwig / Truthout

The Pacific Ocean may be the next frontier for fracking technology.

A Truthout investigation has confirmed that federal regulators approved at least two hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” operations on oil rigs in the Santa Barbara Channel off the coast of California since 2009 without an updated environmental review that critics say may be required by federal law.  

The offshore fracking operations are smaller than the unconventional onshore operations that have sparked nationwide controversy, but environmental advocates are still concerned that regulators and the industry have not properly reviewed the potential impacts of using modern fracking technology in the Pacific outer continental shelf.

Oil drilling remains controversial in Santa Barbara, where the memory of the nation’s third-largest oil spill lingers in the minds of the public. In 1969, the nation watched as thick layer of oil spread across the channel and its beaches following a blowout on an oil rig, killing thousands of marine birds other wildlife. The dramatic images helped spark the modern environmental movement and establish landmark federal environmental laws that eco-groups continue to challenge the government to enforce.

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“Acid Jobs” – A Hip New Alternative to Fracking

29 May

by Rabb!t / Earth First! Newswire

photo: rt.com

photo: rt.com

I seem to remember a time when sucking oil out of the ground and burning it into the atmosphere was all that climate change activists really had to worry about. But as that oil gets difficult to find and restrictions on unsustainable practices become increasingly commonplace, extraction companies are finding inventive, out-there ways of ruining the planet, and are giving them similarly inventive, out-there names. After years of fighting deep water drilling, mountain-top removal, tar sands extraction and hydrofracturing (fracking), environmentalists now have another crazy energy extraction supervillian to stand up to, and it goes by the name “Acid Jobs.”

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The Dying Glaciers of California Threaten Biodiversity and Water Supply

27 May

by Jeremy Miller / Earth Island

glaciers1In August 1872, a 34-year-old John Muir climbed the snow and ice of Mount Lyell and Mount Maclure into the highest reaches of what is today Yosemite National Park. The journey to the high country was no pleasure trip, but an expedition intended to resolve a bitter scientific dispute. The climb, chronicled in “The Living Glaciers of California,” published in the November 1875 issue of Harper’s Magazine, would hold great geological significance as Muir gathered evidence for the formation of the Sierra Nevada’s distinctive granite valleys.

At the time, no one had collected any evidence to suggest that the permanent ice and snowfields in the Sierra’s high basins were “living” glaciers. Muir believed they were. He posited that in a distant, colder past, these small glaciers once ran like great rivers of ice, carving the granite canyons of the western Sierra, including the majestic defile of Yosemite Valley itself.

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Will Lead Bullets Finally Kill Off the California Condor?

7 May

by Ted Williams, Cross Posted from Yale Environment 360

gallery_california_condor_profile

It was almost like watching wooly mammoths parting tusk-high savannah. In the gusty air above the Grand Canyon relicts from the Ice Age wheeled and dipped. Through my binoculars I could make out numbers on the wing tags of these California condors, North America’s largest and arguably most endangered bird.

By 1982 only 22 remained on the planet. Then in a decision that outraged a large element of the environmental community, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that all condors would be evacuated from the wild and bred in captivity. Friends of the Earth founder David Brower pled for “death with dignity.” But in 1993 the Peregrine Fund, a conservation organization, took on captive breeding, and the program proved a stunning success. After only three years, condor releases started in northern Arizona.

Today 234 birds are living in the wild (194 of them captive bred), but the prognosis for the species is scarcely brighter than in 1982; they’re being poisoned. When lead bullets strike bone they tend to splinter, impregnating meat and entrails with toxic fragments, any one of which can kill a condor. All manner of carrion-eating birds and mammals feast on the poisoned gut piles left when hunters field dress game.

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New Treesit Goes Up in Willits, CA

7 May

Cross Posted from Save Little Lake Valley

Condor-1-4

Early on Friday morning, a new tree sit began in the path of Caltrans’ proposed Willits Bypass route. A contingent of roughly 20 Save Our Little Lake Valley members would meet with several key legislative staff people at the State Capitol—Alexis Podesta, Director of External Affairs for Gov. Edmund G. (Jerry) Brown, Gareth Lacy, Deputy Secretary of Communications & Strategic Planning and Brian Putler of the Business, Transportation & Housing Agency—hours later.

While we are unable to report on details of the meeting, we will say that Ms. Podesta was advised of the new tree sit and the message on its banner: “Gov. Brown, do the right thing, please (by telling the California Transportation Commission to cancel the funding at their Tuesday meeting in Los Angeles.)”

The tree sit is located in an Oregon ash grove north of Willits  – part of the nearly 90 acres of wetlands CalTrans intends to fill, piledrive, and pave over in the Willits Valley, of which an unknown number would also be wick drained.

The tree sit is visible from Highway 101! It is approximately a mile north of the high school. It is located at around mile maker 48.5. The tree sitter, Condor, is perched in one of the only oak trees in the grove, a valley oak that appears to be several hundred years old.

New California Water Grab for Fracking and Agribusiness

6 May

by Dan Bacher, Cross Posted from Indybay

Missed in the mainstream media coverage of the release of the revised Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) documents on March 14 was the alarming role the peripheral tunnels could play in increased fracking in California. 

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is the controversial, environmentally destructive process of injecting millions of gallons of water, sand and toxic chemicals underground at high pressure in order to release and extract oil or gas, according to Food and Water Watch. 

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Action Camp to Defend Little Lake Valley!

29 Mar

wac 

The California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) is attempting to construct a four-lane  superhighway through Little Lake Valley, otherwise known as Willits.
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